Filipinos representing the Philippines during the WCOPA made headlines in the news- but another Filipino who is a Kagay-anon, also went home with several medals as one of the members of the Singapore team.

Alexander Dagalea (Alex to his family and friends), was born and raised here in Cagayan de Oro. He finished BS Biology and Psychology in Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in 1999, but has lived outside the country shortly after college in Hongkong and in Singapore as a performer.

Each year, countries send their best and most outstanding talent in United States for a “Olympic-style” variety of competitions. Each winner gets a coveted gold medal, which brings in career opportunities in entertainment of a lifetime. A total of $130,000 scholarships is awarded.

In the recent concluded WCOPA in Los Angeles, California- Alex joined into 5 categories: pop, broadway, contemporary, gospel, and open. He got silver medals in pop and contemporary and bronze in open. For someone who never sings pop and contemporary- Alex was surprised to have won in those categories. For his choice of songs performed that night, he sang “ I believe” by Fantasia for the Pop category, “The Rose” by Bette Midler for Open category, sang “Weekend in New England” by Barry manillow for Contemporary category, “We are the Reason” by David Meece using Gary Valenciano’s version for the Gospel category and for the Broadway Category- he belted out “Home” from the hit musical The Wiz.

Alex competed in the 30 and above age group as a soloist. He is currently a mainstay of Daddy Os and “ The Cruisers” -working as a vocalist at Universal Studios Singapore. He was part of the Opening Team of the said themepark as a musical superswing performing in the MonsterRock and Kowabunga Kove shows. Prior to moving to Singapore, he was a parade dancer with Hong Kong Disneyland. He was part of the Opening Team and was one of the Principal Vocalists in the The Golden Mickeys Show. After which, he performed with the Hong Kong Chorus Society Limited’s production of Oliver! at the Hong Kong Cultural Center Grand Theatre.

Alex started his singing career as a member of the Mary Immaculate Singing Ambassadors here in Cagayan de oro. He then entered professional theater by joining Repertory Philippines, one of the premier theater companies in the Philippines. He had been part of numerous musicals such as Scrooge – A Christmas Carol, Pinnochio, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Once on this Island, Ang Pagpatay kay Antonio Luna (The Murder of Antonio Luna), and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs among others.

When asked about what was the most challenging part in preparing for the singing Olympics held recently, “Oh, I was battling a 2-week bout of flu before the competition. I was still very sick 2 days before the competition”. Alex is now back in Singapore with his team- but his heart yearns for the Philippines which he will always consider as his home no matter where the opportunities to perform brings him to. He will visit Cagayan de Oro very soon to share his triumph with family and friends who never doubted his ability to make it big someday.

photo and text by Gean T. Cesar

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